Compost (Organics) Collection Program

Of the 39 million tons of waste disposed of in California landfills in 2018, one third of this was compostable (organic) materials. When compostable materials such as food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard trimmings are buried in landfills, they decompose and produce methane, a climate change greenhouse gas contributor 80x more potent than carbon dioxide. 

Starting January 1, 2022, the State of California, Alameda County and the City of Union City require residents and businesses to separate and keep recyclable and  compostable materials out of landfills under the State’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383). This law aims to address climate change by reducing the amount of recyclable and compostable materials sent to landfills by 75% by January 1, 2025. 

Senate Bill (SB) 1383 is implemented in Alameda County under the county-wide Organics Reduction and Recycling Ordinance and in Union City under Municipal Code Chapter 7.24, in partnership with Republic Services, Tri-CED Community Recycling, and Stop Waste. 

Why Should I Compost?

When Union City residents and businesses place compostable materials like food scraps in their green compost bin/cart, they not only reduce methane emissions, but they also create compost - a valuable soil amendment that retains moisture, conserves water, and nourishes plants and trees.

Multi-family Property Owners and Managers: To learn more the SB 1383 requirements and what the law means for your property, click here

Image of Organics Do's and Dont's

What is Accepted in the Green Compost Bin/Cart?

 Food scraps including: 

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Bread, pasta, and other grains
  • Fruits and vegetables along with peels, skins, pits, and rinds
  • Bones and shells
  • Tea leaves and coffee grounds. 

Food-soiled paper including: 

  • Unlined paper cups and plates
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Coffee filters and teabags (no nylon)
  • Grease-soiled pizza boxes
  • Unlined paper take-out containers. 

Yard trimmings including: 

  • Untreated wood such as wood pallents
  • Small branches
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Grass
  • Weeds and brush.

What is Prohibited in the Green Compost Bin/Cart?

Recyclable and landfill materials are prohibited in the green compost bin/cart as per California’s Organics Reduction and Recycling Law (Senate Bill 1383) and Union City Municipal Code Chapter 7.24. Recyclable and landfill materials must be sorted and placed in the appropriate containers. Other prohibited items include:

  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Plastic bags, film, wrap, and containers
  • Styrofoam products
  • Snack packaging
  • Non-compostable straws and utensils,
  • Diapers and personal hygiene products
  • Pet waste
  • Palm fronds
  • Treated wood (painted or stained)
  • Asphalt, concrete, dirt, brick, and construction and demolition debris.

It is illegal to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW) such as chemicals, cleaners, fertilizers, paint, pesticides, propane tanks, sharps, and electronic waste in your recycling, compost, and landfill carts. HHW materials require careful disposal by a certified facility. Safely dispose of HHW for free at an Alameda County HHW Drop-off Facility or at County-sponsored events throughout the year. For drop-off facility locations, hours, and a list of accepted items, call (800) 606-6606 or visit

Download the Multi-Family Services Guide to learn what is accepted in the curbside collection program, how to properly sort your materials, and about other available programs and services. 

Handy Food Scraps Kitchen Pail 

Kitchen PailMulti-family property residents should contact their property owner/manager to request for a Kitchen Pail at no additional cost to collect and store food scraps and food-soiled paper. Limit one Kitchen Pail per household. Use this handy Kitchen Pail to collect all food scraps and food-soiled paper until you are ready to empty the contents into the shared green compost bin/cart along with yard trimmings.

Pro tip: Line your Kitchen Pail with paper towels, newspaper, kraft paper, or a BPI-certified compostable bag to keep it clean. Do not place food scraps in non-compostable bags.

How Do I Establish or Improve My Compost Collection Program?

Multi-family property owners and managers can contact the Recycling Coordinators at Republic Services and Tri-CED Community Recycling for free technical assistance to help start or improve your property's recycling and/or compost collection program, comply with State and local regulations, and realize potential cost savings. Free technical assistance includes:

  • Assistance signing up for recycling and/or compost collection services. 
  • Waste assessments to determine the optimal collection service level for your property and potentially achieve cost savings. 
  • Staff trainings to ensure proper sorting, share best practices, and to answer questions. 
  • Setting up indoor color-coded and labeled collection containers.
  • Educational materials such as posters, service guides, and outdoor/indoor container decals to educate employees, contractors, and/or tenants on proper sorting. 
  • General support to help your multi-family community maximize recycling opportunities and to reduce waste.

Contact your haulers today to request for free technical assistance!

Republic Services

Tri-CED Community Recycling

  • Phone: (510) 429-8030
  • Email: 
  • Customer Service Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For additional information and resources including how to order free indoor decals and customized signs, contact StopWaste at (510) 891-6575 (leave message for call back) or email